Springfield 10, Middletown 2

Team effort carries Springfield to key win

POSTED 7/10/2018

By Harry Chaykun

MIDDLETOWN TWP. – The Springfield Colonials used solid pitching by Bill Neill, good hitting, and some strong defensive plays to get past the Middletown Lions, 10-2, at Penncrest High Tuesday night.

The win kept the Colonials (7-16, 21 points) in sixth place in the Delco League standings as they continue their bid for the final playoff position.

   Neill, a lefty from Cardinal O’Hara High who had two wins at King’s College last spring, threw a three-hitter and struck out six, getting all three outs in the seventh inning on strikes. Third baseman Joe Sheeran speared a second-inning smash to start a double play, and second baseman Dan McMenamin made a running catch of a fly ball in short right field to help Neill get the first out of the sixth.

   “My ball was moving a lot tonight,” Neill said. “My defense helped me out, and it didn’t hurt having all those runs to work with.

   “This was really a good team win for us.”

   After Middletown starter Tim Quinn opened the top of the first with a strikeout, Sheeran drove a shot into the gap in left-center field and circled the bases before the Lions could get the ball to home plate. Sheeran also added a run-scoring single during a three-run rally in the third inning.

   Springfield shortstop Norm Donkin had a big night at the plate, walking in his first two at-bats – the second with the bases loaded – then driving in a pair of runs with a third-inning single and hitting a triple in the fifth to score John Gorgone, who opened the inning with a double.

   Donkin recently celebrated his first anniversary as a member of the police force in the town of West Chester.

   “Working 12-hour shifts can be tough,” he said. “When you finish up at 6 o’clock at night, it’s tough getting to games. And when you’re on second shift, you know you won’t be able to play then.

   “I do get a lot of days off, and (playing for the Colonials) is my priority then.”

   Donkin played at Harford (Md.) Community College and the University of Delaware after his days at Ridley High. His first Delco League action came as a member of the Collingdale Colts right after he had finished high school.

   “Lately, we’ve been getting a consistent lineup, and that’s been helping us,” Donkin said. “Even today we had to have Nate Booth, a pitcher, play right field. As long as we get people showing up, we’ll have a shot to be in the playoffs.”

   Steve Trainer chipped in with two hits and knocked in three runs, and Gabe Encarnacion and Mike Smith also got two hits for the Colonials, who touched up three Middletown pitchers for 14 hits and made good use of nine walks.

   Springfield manager Bill McMenamin started at first base and put the ball in play in his two trips to the plate. In the second inning, he hit a fly ball to left field that was dropped, and he lined a single to center field in the third inning.

   “Having most of them playing together for a few games has helped energize them,” McMenamin, who made his Delco League debut with the Clifton Heights franchise in 1979, said of his team. “They’ve had good chemistry, and they been feeding off each other and having fun.”

   Sean Heidig drove in Middletown’s first run with a double in the third inning, and Tim Becker added a run-scoring single in the fifth for the Lions (4-17-0, 12 points), who play Springfield again Wednesday night.